New Delhi, August 15: Army chief General Bipin Rawat could be the first the Chief of Defence Staff, the position whose constitution was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort. The designation could be assumed by Gen Rawat as early as December 2019, when he retires as the Chief of Army Staff.
The post of CDS, tasked to oversee the operations three wings of Indian armed forces, would be assigned to the senior-most military officer, said Defence Ministry officials privy to the development. At present, the senior most military commander is Gen Rawat and he is likely to takeover as the CDS, HT reported them as saying. Chief of Defence Staff: PM Narendra Modi, on Independence Day 2019, Announces New CDS Post to Oversee All 3 Wings of Armed Forces
The tenure of the CDS, along with the blueprint on which he will coordinate with the Army, Navy and Air Force, will be designed by a panel of experts. The committee, which has already been set up, will comprise of the Defence Secretary and the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee among others, the officials claimed.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi announced that the appointment of CDS would further strengthen the nation's defence, while ensure enhanced communication and cohesiveness between the three wings of the forces.
"Our security forces are our pride. To further enhance coordination between our forces, I announce a big decision today,India will now have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS. This is going to make the forces even more strong," Modi added.
Notably, the appointment of CDS was first recommended nearly two decades ago by the Kargil Review Committee. However, experts claim that the government had than decided to opt for the constitution of National Security Advisor (NSA) post, instead of the Chief of Defence Staff.